The Top10 Things You Should Do If You Test Positive For Alpha1

  • Have A List Of Questions When You See a Doctor About Your Alpha1(If you try to remember the questions you want to ask you may forget half of them)
  • Learn To Breathe Effectively
  • Limit Or Eliminate Your Alcohol Consumption
  • Don't Be Afraid To Be Proactive About Your Alpha1
  • Get Plenty Of Rest(You will likely have a higher oxygenation level)
  • Avoid Sick People(You have a lower immune system than most people)
  • Drink Plenty Of Water
  • Eat Healthy/Avoid Processed Food(Carbonated beverages)
  • Start A Careful Exercise Program/Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program(Your muscles will become more efficient so they won't use as much oxygen and if you have surgery you will likely recover quicker as well)
  • Stop Smoking

Monday, June 3, 2013

FYI: Hydration And Electrolytes

After recovering from my bug. I thought I was ok...however, being full on in planting season I learned I maybe wasn't completely. Have been working in my field preparing it for planting before my night shift job. Was having headaches and losing momentum fast!! Anyways, I had started trying to drink more water. I'd \remembered growing up on the farm that my Dad would carry a jug of cold water on the hay wagon while we baled hay (and yes, I drove the tractor and he bucked the bales...he discovered I could pick up wind rows better than him and he could stack bales better & faster than me!). That didn't seem to, I asked my friends who are EMT's what I might do different. They said my electrolytes were probably out of wack from the meds and I might be experiencing heat exhaustion. They recommended I drink Gatorade, Kwikade (Kwik-Trip brand) or PowerAde to help replenish the loses. Although, I still have some issues with headaches...the Gatorade or Kwikade does help. Looking at investing in straw hat to reduce sun exposure and try to eat more to see if that is part of the problem.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

And We Are OFF!

As of last Tuesday I recovered. I would not have posted tonight if I hadn't been rained out of my gardens!! Started working on getting my mower & weedeater running that very day! Ooooh, was I sore from pulling the pull rope to get them to start!!! That night I almost thought I had worked tobacco harvest. Funny story: Years ago I worked tobacco. The first day we cut all morning and we speared all afternoon. I woke up the next morning stiff. I amble down stairs with my socks & shoes in hand. I sat down on a chair and proceeded to try to put my sock on. I looked at my Mom incredulously and said "I don't know if I can get my socks on!" My Mom responded sincerely "Do you want me to help you?" I responded "No, if I can just get it over my big toe...I GOT IT MADE!" I bet it took me 20 minutes of attempts till I finally succeeded!

Anyway, since then I have been tilling, planting and knocking down high grass in my 3 acre patch I let lay fallow last year. Looking forward to a GREAT year!!! Trying some new green pepper, hot pepper and tomato varieties. Also, trying to grow turnip, parsnip, rutabaga and bok choy. Going to be such a fun growing year! Going to can veggies for the first time in a decade. Trying lots of new tomato canning recipes! Pretty excited about that!!! While buying plants in Chippewa Falls I stopped at my favorite bike shop for new straps for my Yakima bike rack. Spring Street Sports is an awesome bike shop!! Thought I needed to buy new bike tires but, upon closer inspection recognized all I need to do is air up the tires. Don't know if I'm going to attempt to bike with my competition eggbeater pedals or have the original pedals that came on it put back on. I'm biking for health and money savings. I racked up quite the medical bill in ER!! My share is approximately $1400. Next month I take the NRA non gun instructor course Refuse To Be A Victim. It's going to be nice to be able to offer something for those that don't want to carry a handgun!

In other news....I am anticipating attending the September alpha1 ed day in Chicago!

Skipidy do dah, skipidy day!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

And Moving Right Along

This is going to be a poorly organized post!

Well, I am moving right along but, not accomplishing a lot. The Prednisone is keeping me wide awake so, I'm pretty consistently exhausted. Counting down the days. Need to get planting but, could only muster energy to till my small back personal garden today. Tomorrow I'll plant some root crop seeds and maybe till my front personal garden. About Wednesday I was sure I was out of the woods as far as my lungs went. I was able to run up the same set of stairs I could only walk up up 4 steps without pausing on Saturday. I'm not dependent on my nebulizer either!! Would really like to get my crops in. The crops will improve my financial situation greatly if they get planted in a timely manner and Mother nature cooperates.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The One Armed Bandit Rolls With The Flow!!

New medical teams/facilities/organizations present new beginnings on both sides of the aisle. This year has led to many health care provider changes. When that happens we sometimes forget or don't realize some things. One of them is that the new medical team/facility/organization has protocol they have to abide by. They may not treat us as aggressively as our previous team. Some of you won't appreciate this but, you are part of that new team. Not only do they need to do their part cautiously you need to listen, exercise patience and be willing to be a part of the solution (try new things).

Today I anticipated being hospitalized but, instead wasn't treated as aggressively as my previous team had and was sent home with a IV start set in my left hand wrapped in hot pink wrap. Another nurse might not have allowed that but, in my case she did. She came in and said "I agree with you! If you're coming back tomorrow to receive another IV dose and you can tolerate it...I see no reason why we should remove it.". The team said they didn't think they had enough evidence to convince an insurance company to cover a hospital stay. They also likely don't want to over treat me because I am a new patient and exercise prudence. The treatment has kinda helped  but, doesn't leave me oozing with optimism I'm completely on the mend. However, I left knowing the staff had faith in my knowledge and respected me when I explained why I traveled so far to see a pulmonologist. My pulmonologist is AWESOME  about returning emails. When I explained the way they treated me he simply responded "that sounds reasonable". The staff doctor on hand took down his name and where he practiced at after I explained what he has done for me and countless others.

I do feel like a one armed bandit to a certain extent. I really have to be careful how I use my left hand. Takes twice as long to do everything. Years ago there was a rodeo performer named "The One Armed Bandit" that performed during professional rodeo intermissions. That was where I got the title idea. And by the way if you ever get to seem him perform....he's one hell of a performer!!!

I'd like to take the time to recognize another performer from the westerner/cowboy world. Some of you may not know I played cowgirl out in Oklahoma while attending school. In fact, I believe back then someday I would live on a ranch. Anyway a respected trick shooter/showmen passed away at 62 just a little over a week ago. His name was Tom Knapp. He died rather young like my sister Johanna. He died of pulmonary fibrosis. About three years ago he bounced back from it and then it came back. He was real good people! He worked for the Hennipen co parks dept 25 years before he launched into fulltime showmanship/trick shooting exhibitioning. So, those of you that are care givers with what may seem like lost dreams...remember some dreams can come true later in life!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Time Marches On

Thursday was the anniversary of my sisters death. I handled it better than I expected. In fact, didn't get weepy till heading home from work. A Carole King song came on from her acclaimed Tapestry album. I had bought Johanna a CD of it in the last decade. It was one of her favorite albums outside of any Barbara Streisand album.

This spring winter weather is challenging me as a farmer and as an alpha. Like the rest of you I am having the seasonal allergy effect like never before. I keep wanting to exercise but, it's all I can do to complete an 8 hr shift and cough my lungs out. My nebulizer, rescue inhaler and cough drops have become my new best friends!! It's an up and down journey for sure! One day I feel like something my farm cat drug home from the back forty....the next I believe I'm on the mend! Was around 70 out today. Although lethargic for the most part I did get out in the yard to begin cleaning it up. Relieved we are set to be on 40 hr work weeks for a stretch. The 32 hr work weeks really had me scared. I've never seen it like that in 9 yrs(even after the massive layoff)!!! That should help my health some (less stress). Looking to get a fishing license for the first time in a decade. Scheduling a carry concealed class in southern Wisconsin. If there is enough signed up I'll assist in teaching the class. If my cough, rattle and nasal drip has not begun to disappear I'll be heading to U of Chicago afterwards. They don't seem to know how to treat me up here. I still intend to bloom where I'm planted anyway!! 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Not So Nerdy!

Well, I have the laptop but, I haven't had one for four years and it is over 7 years old. Not only did I manage to screw up registering. I am struggling with <GASP> downloads!! Oh, well. Have my work cut out for me as far as technology goes. Likely more software and different Wi-Fi. Not to mention some tutoring on how to run everything so I can update my business website and biz facebook page.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Keeping It Real

Don't get to library much but, considering getting a laptop soon. My condition has become less predictable and more confusing. Inspite of that fact I still believe I have a good bit of good living to live. I just have to be more vigilant. Continue to work smart and invest smart with my time, money, intellectual and physical assets. Life is very challenging for me right now but, I know others out there have it much worse than me. I want to read the book "Unbroken". It's about a world war veteran that was shot down and survived in the ocean in a foundering raft. Can't begin to imagine how deep he had to dig inside for the tenacity to survive! I plan to return to produce farming this year. Excited to be able to try a new sweet corn seed!!! Going to become more mechanized this yr with cultivation. It will save me several hours a week in field work.